It would seem clear that although the behavioral interview has the potential for being a fairly reliable and valid assessment instrument (as long as certain conditions are met) it still falls short of acceptability. Linehan (1977) pointed out, “In the final analysis, there is no way to verify whether the client is deliberately distorting events or not” (p.45). Various concerns with interview data have resulted in frequent warnings against their isolated use in behavioral assessment and have stressed the importance of increasing confidence in the data by using other more reliable and valid methods of assessment (Atkeson & Forehand, 1981; Ciminero & Drabman, 1977; Haynes, 1978; Keefe et al., 1978; Linehan, 1977). One strategy which can be used for buttressing information obtained from the behavioral interview and which will provide a new, potentially more reliable and valid source of data is direct behavioral observation. The concept of potentiality is again underscored in this chapter because, as is the case with the behavioral interview, certain conditions must be fulfilled before the reliability, validity, and utility of this assessment strategy can be in any way assumed.
KeywordsInterobserver Agreement Behavioral Observation Target Behavior Observation Session Observational System
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